Is childbirth a risky business?

patientsafetyfirst

I’ve been quite shocked recently by some of the information and messages I’ve seen via social media relating to the risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth.

For example, this piece written by Milli Hill states

If you believe everything you read, then you probably think that childbirth is one of the riskiest activities any human can undertake. Actually, it isn’t, and statistically you’re massively more likely to meet your maker behind the wheel of your motor.

Others have re-tweeted the piece and are keen to promote a similar message. Tweeting a graphic from the NHS Choices ‘Atlas of Risk’, Sheena Byrom states

‘Let’s put pregnancy & birth in UK into perspective. It is NOT a risky business’

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But let’s look a bit more closely at the figures. In the UK, in 2009 there were 4,125 still born babies and 2,511 neonatal deaths (6,636 in total). This compares with the…

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